Alert Bay School students and staff have been preparing for our Fall Salmon Feast for the last few months.
We were very lucky this year to be gifted pink salmon food fish from the Namgis First Nation. We were very very grateful to the fisherman and the crew for providing our school with the pink salmon that we shared with our guests. With the help of Chief Norman Glendale, Helen Glendale, Karissa Glendale, and Aunties Modi and Gundy, students helped prepare food to serve at the feast.
Alert Bay School served Yusa (fish soup) with t’łi’na (oolichan oil), homemade buns, fresh deserts, and beverages.
Students not only helped prepare the food, but they served it to every guest in the room.
Students also gifted our guests with fresh apples for coming to our celebration.
We often sing songs after a great meal. Feast songs have important meaning and history about the chiefs who own them. We sang a feast song that was an old song from the West Coast of Vancouver Island, and is now owned by the Namgis.
Along the B.C. Coast salmon are a key-stone species, which means they are essential to the well-being of the entire Eco-system. Wild salmon stocks have depleted, and we have researched in Science classes, some of the threats. We want to celebrate the return of the wild salmon, because with all the threats that our salmon are faced with, they still come home every year and another cycle begins.
We also danced the dance of the salmon to celebrate their return of the pink salmon and our good fortune. We learned the dance and song, and it comes from the Kwagu’l.
We ended our feast with the Amlala (Fun Dance). It is danced at the completion of a ceremony.
We were grateful for our many guests and friends who came to celebrate with us, including the students from North Island Secondary, and Sunset Elementary Schools.
A lot of effort went into our feast. Many thanks to our Culture and Language Teacher Ernest Alfred for leading us through another amazing celebration.